The Green Heart, waders country. The meadows, marshes and lakes of the provinces of North and South Holland and Utrecht are called the Green Heart. They are home to our national bird, the black-tailed godwit. Here, you also find our other typical waders breeding in significant numbers in a historic landscape. Besides the black-tailed godwit, it is a great place for common redshanks. It is a stronghold for the endangered curlew, common snipe, and the last pairs of the ruff. Oystercatchers and avocets are common. And in various parts, the black-winged stilt appears annually, as does the glossy ibis. Spoonbills, purple herons, white egrets and black terns breed in in the marshy reeds. Characteristic song birds include the bluethroat, Savi’s warbler, grasshopper warbler, reed, sedge and marsh warblers. They have to fear the cuckoo that puts its eggs in their nests and leave them to raise its young.
Birds of prey include marsh harriers, kestrels, buzzards, goshawks and sparrowhawks. Honey buzzards pass the region uttering their whistling cry. Whereas the nimble hobbies hunt for songbirds and dragon flies. In spring, ospreys often visit these lands.
In spring and fall migration, waders from the north come to rest and feed. We can then find spotted redshank, greenshank, wood, marsh and common sandpiper, alongside specialities such as a Temminck’s sandpiper.
In one word, the Green heart, waders country.
In addition to being a bird-rich part of the Netherlands, it is also a characteristic historic landscape, with small traditional villages, farmhouses and wind mills. The region happens to be at a stone’s throw from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht and is within easy reach by car, bike and public transport.
Price indication for a half day including fuel is 75€. A full day is 100€. Prices are lower with larger company. Ask for a free offer.
Top of page landscape picture: Typical Green Heart wetlands near Zevenhuizen, South Holland.
Avocet. Photo courtesy @Lars Ursem